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tv   SC Rep Pres Debate  CNN  January 19, 2012 5:00pm-7:00pm PST

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with. >> the cayman island things is interesting. it's one of the largest holders of u.s. treasuries because so many u.s. funds are domicile there so certainly not an uncommon thing. >> i don't know how it plays with rank and file but they all know he's very rich to begin with so they sort of discounted that. >> yeah. all right, what about rick s santor santorum? >> he's got a nice sweater vest, as you know, he likes to wear that. when i interviewed him, i was going to wear one too but i thought maybe that wouldn't work. he's got his hands full. i think he's going to come out swinging. >> wolf blitzer in a sweater vest might be the headline of the night. the presidential race has been won by governor reagan of california. >> george w. walker bush, 41st president of the united states. >> too close to call. >> there it is, george w. bush, re-elected. >> barack obama, president-elect of the united states. >> announcer: this is cnn.
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we're live in charleston, south carolina. it's debate night. after a dramatic day in the republican race for president. iowa declares a new winner. rick perry bows out. 35 hours before the polls open here in south carolina, a dead heat. the southern republican presidential debate starts right now. >> welcome to the south. the heart of the republican party. where tradition lives. >> the strongest military in the world. >> and values matter. >> we want a conservative on the ticket. >> tonight, the republican candidates on stage in south carolina for their final debate before the first in the south primary. mitt romney, the front-runner, going for another win. trying to close the deal with skeptical voters.
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>> i will work to get good jobs back. >> newt gingrich, on the rise, trying to harvest conservative report as the field gets smaller. >> i am the only candidate capable of stopping a moderate from winning the nomination. >> rick santorum, with renewed momentum, after learning he won iowa after all. >> we defeated mitt romney in iowa. >> ron paul, the insurgent. a powerful force in the first contests. with an army of young voters. >> we are dangerous to the status quo of this country! >> now, south carolina is ready to put its stamp on the 2012 presidential race. >> the president of the united states. >> welcome to charleston. and the fight for the south.
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>> from the north charleston coliseum, this is the southern republican presidential debate. tonight, the four remaining republican candidates are with us with their ultimate goal now in sight. welcome this evening, i'm john king. this is the final debate before the south carolina presidential primary. that's on saturday. republican leaders from here in south carolina, 13 other southern states in this audience tonight, along with members of the tea party patriots. some of our audience members will get a chance to directly question the candidates. you can take part in this debate by sending us your questions online. twitter, include the #cnndebate. on facebook. and cnnpolitics.com. time to meet the 2012 contenders. first, the texas congressman ron paul.
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the former speaker of the house newt gingrich. the former massachusetts governor mitt romney. >> hi, guys. newt. >> and the former senator from pennsylvania rick santorum. [ applause ] ladies and gentlemen, the republican presidential candidates. [ applause ]
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[ applause ] just before we came on the air tonight we recited the pledge of allegiance. now please rise for our national anthem. we're blessed tonight to have it performed from the cadets from the citadel right here in south carolina. ♪ oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light what so proudly we hailed ♪ ♪ at the twilight's last gleaming whose broad stripes and bright stars ♪ ♪ thru the perilous fight o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming ♪
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♪ and the rocket's red glare the bombs bursting in air ♪ ♪ gave proof through the night that our flag was still there ♪ ♪ oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave ♪ ♪ o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave ♪ [ applause ] that was fabulous, absolutely fabulous. i want to ask the candidates to get comfortable at their podiums. i want to tell you about how
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tonight's debate will work. i'll ask questions as will some members of our audience. i'll follow up and guide the discussion. candidates, promise you, we're going to try to make sure each of you gets your fair share of the time and the questions. you'll have one minute to answer and 30 seconds for follow-ups and rebuttals and i'll make sure you get time to respond if you're singled out for criticism. let's have the candidates introduce themselves. we'll ask them to keep it short. here's an example. i'm john king from cnn, i'm rooting for the patriots this weekend and i'm honored to be your moderator this evening. senator, let's begin with you. >> i'm rick santorum and i want to thank the people of the low country for their hospitality to my wife karen and our seven children. i also want to thank the people of iowa for a little delayed but most welcome victory there, thank you to the people of iowa. >> i'm mitt romney. it's good to be back in south carolina. see many good friends here. it's also great to be here with my wife and some of my kids. i'm married about 42 years.
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i have five sons, five daughters in law, 16 grandkids and they're the joy of my life. thank you. >> mr. speaker. >> i'm newt gingrich. i want to thank the people of south carolina for being so hospitable as a georgian. it feels good to be back at home in the south. and i look forward to this evening. >> congressman paul. >> thank you very much. it's great to be here tonight. i'm a congressman from texas. i've been elected for 12 times. and also i practiced ob/gyn for a 30-year period. i've also served five years in the military. and i'm the only u.s. veteran on this stage tonight. >> you've met the candidates. it's time to begin the debate. an event that has quite a dramatically different feel. just this morning, as senator
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santorum noted, we learned he, not governor romney, won the iowa caucuses. there were five podiums on the stage when the sun came up. four now because of governor rick perry's decision to drop out. a direct fresh character attack on the speaker. mr. speaker, i want to start with that this evening. your ex-wife gave an interview to abc news, another interview with "the washington post," and this story has now gone viral on the internet. she says you came to her in 1999 at a time when you were having an affair. she says you asked her, sir, to end near an open marriage. would you like to take some time to respond to that? >> no, but i will. i think the destructive vicious negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to
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attract decent people to run for public office. i'm appalled you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that. [ applause ] >> is that all you want to say, sir? >> let me finish. >> please. >> every person in here knows personal pain. every person in here has had someone close to them go through painful things. to take an ex-wife and make it two days before the primary, a significant question in a presidential campaign, is as close to despicable as anything i can imagine. [ applause ] my two daughters, my two
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daughters wrote the head of abc and made the point that it was wrong, that they should pull it, and i am, frankly, astounded that cnn would take trash like that and use it to open a presidential debate. [ applause ] >> as you noted, mr. speaker, this story did not come from our network. as you also know, it is the subject of conversation on the campaign. i get your painoint, i take -- >> john, it was repeated by your network. you chose to start the debate with it. don't blame it on somebody else. you and your staff chose to start the debate with it. [ applause ] >> okay, okay -- >> now, let me be quite clear. the story is false. every personal friend i have who knew us in that period says the story was false. we offered several of them to abc to prove it was false. they weren't interested because they would like to attack any republican. they're attacking the governor. they're attacking me.
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i'm sure they'll get around to senator santorum and governor paul. i'm tired of the elite media attacking publicly. [ applause ] >> as i noted -- [ cheers and applause ] as i noted at the beginning, we have four podiums on this stage tonight, not five. when he exited the race this morning, governor perry quickly and forcefully endorsed speaker gingrich. in that remark, he said no, mr. gingrich is not a perfect man. he said he believes in his christian faith that guides him to the value of redemption. speak er gingrich doesn't believe this is an issue. governor perry says this is not an issue. i just want to start with you, sir, and go down. do you believe it is? >> i've answered this question repeatedly throughout the course of this campaign. i am a christian too.
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and i thank god for forgiveness. but, you know, these are issues of our lives and what we did in our lives. they're issues of character for people to consider. but the bottom line is those are things for everyone in this audience to look at and they're going to look at me, look what i've done in my private life and personal life unfortunately, and what i say is that -- this country is a very forgiving country. this country understands that we are all fallen. and i'm very hopeful that we will be judged by that standard and not by a higher one on the ultimate day. >> governor romney. >> john, let's get on to the real issues is all i got to say. [ applause ] >> congressman. >> i think too often all of us are on the receiving ends of attacks from the media.
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it's very disturbing because sometimes they're not based on facts and we suffer the consequences. you know, sometimes it reminds me of this idea of getting corporations out of running campaigns. but what about the corporations that run the media? i mean, they're always -- [ applause ] i think our responsibility is sorting facts and fiction. people have to sort this out. but i think setting standards are re is important. i'm very proud that my wife of 54 years is with me tonight. >> all right. as i said at the top of the debate -- [ applause ] as i said at the top of the debate, we'll take questions from the audience. people online. also a number of voters. i want to turn to a question from one of those voters. her name is jane gallagher. she's from here in south carolina. as all of you know, we're in a state with 9.9% unemployment. and jane asked this question. list three or more specific programs that will put american people back to work. congressman paul, i want to begin with you. do you believe we need specific
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federal programs to put the american people back to work? >> well, most of the things the federal government could do to get us back to work is get out of the way. i'd like to -- [ applause ] i'd like to see the federal government have a sound currency. that creates a healthy economy. i would like to see massive reduction of regulations. i would like to see income tax reduced to near zero as possible. and that is what we have to do. we have to get the gov out of the way. we have to recognize why we have unemployment. it comes because we have a deeply flawed financial system that causes financial bubbles. the bubbles burst. then you have the unemployment. now, the most important thing to get over that hump that was created artificially by bad economic policies is to allow the correction to occur. you have to get rid of the excessive debt. get rid of the malinvestment. don't do that by buying the debt
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off people who were benefiting from it. we, the people, shouldn't be stuck with these debts on these mortgage derivatives and all. we need to get that behind us. which means the government shouldn't be doing any bailouts. so most of the things to improve the environment is getting the government out of the way and enforce contract laws and enforce bankruptcy laws. >> mr. speaker, come in on that point. as you can. address what you would like to do but also specifically the question, do we need federal programs. >> there are three things that can be done at specifically south carolina level. there's one easy thing to do at the national level, repeal the dodd/frank bill. which is killing small business. the three specifics, one, there's $29 billion-plus of natural gas offshore. in louisiana jobs for that kind of production are $80,000 a year. that would help us become energy independent from the middle east. part of the royalties could be used to modernize the port of charleston and the port of
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georgetown. charleston has to be modernized to meet the largest ships that will come through the panama canal in 2014. 1 out of every 5 jobs in south carolina is dependent on the port of charleston. fundamentally overhaul of corps of engineers. the corps of engineers takes eight years to study, not to complete, to study doing the port. we won the entire second world war in three years and eight months. >> a sub set of the jobs conversation among the candidates in this state over the past week, mr. speaker, has been from you and the now departed governor perry. pretty sharp criticism of governor romney's tenure as ceo of bain capital. what do you think he did wrong that makes you question his ability as a president to create jobs? >> i think there are specific cases, georgetown steel would be a case here, a company in gaffney, south carolina,
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specific cases where bain capital's model, which is take over a company and dramatically leverage it, leave it with a great deal of debt, made it less likely to survive. i think the governor ought to explain -- it started because he cited his experience as a key part of his preparation for being president. so i think the underlying model of that kind of investment, which is very different from venture capital, ought to be explained, and those cases ought to be looked at. >> governor romney, let me give you a chance, explain. >> well, i hope i get a chance to talk about the topic you began with. we'll come back to the direct attack from speaker gingrich in a moment. let's go back and talk about first what you do to get the economy going. of course we spoke time and again about our tax code that's out of alignment with other nations. we spoke about the fact that regulation is overwhelming us. we need to take care of our energy resources. become energy secure. we have to open up markets. we have to crack down on china when they cheat. i'd like to talk about something else that president obama has been doing. he's been practicing crony capitalism. if you want to get america going again, you've got to stop the
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spread of crony capitalism. he gives general motors to the uaw. he takes $500 million and sticks it into cylendera. he stacks the labor stooges on the nrb so they can say no to boeing and take care of their friends in the labor movement. go across the country with regards to energy because he has to bow to the most extreme members of the environmental movement. he turned down the keystone pipeline which would bring energy and jobs to america. this president is the biggest impediment to job growth in this country. and we have to replace barack obama to get america working again. >> so let's go back. i'm glad you had that opportunity. i do want to go back, see if we can clear this up. questions about bain, many have been about the number. you have said 120,000 jobs that you can tie back to decisions you made at bain capital. take your time, sir, and do the math. how you get to 120,000 jobs. >> i'll do the math but let me
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tell you, i know we're going to get attacked from left, from barack obama, on capitalism. i know people are going to say, oh, you should only practice it this way or that way and think they know better than the private market. my view is capitalism works. free enterprise works. and i -- [ applause ] and i find it kind of strange on a stage like this with republicans having to describe how private equity and venture capital work and how they're successful and how they create jobs. we started a number of businesses. four in particular created 120,000 jobs. as of today. we started them years ago. they've grown well beyond the time i was there. to 120,000 people. that have employed by those enterprises. some we have been with, some of which have lost jobs. people have evaluated that -- well, since i ran four years ago when i ran for governor. those that have been documented to lost jobs lost about 10,000 jobs. so 120,000 less 10,000 means we created something over 100,000
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jobs. there's some, by the way, that were businesses we acquired that grew and became more successful like domino's pizza and a company called dwyane reed and others. i'm proud we tried to build enterprises hopefully to try to return money to investors. there's nothing wrong with profit, by the way. that profit -- [ applause ] that profit went to pension funds, to charities. it went to a wide array of institutions. a lot of people benefited from that. as enterprise has become more profitable, they can hire more people. i'm someone who believes in free enterprise. i think adam smith was right. i'm going to stand and defend capitalists across this country. i know we're going to get it hard from president obama but we'll stuff it down his throat and find out it is capitalism and freedom that makes america strong. >> senator santorum, join the conversation, specifically to
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the initial question from jane what should the federal government be doing? specific programs? i also want to ask you if you share the speaker's concern about governor romney's tenure at bain. >> on the first question, i believe in capitalism too. i believe in capitalism for everybody. not necessarily high finance but capitalism that works for the working men and women of this country. who are out there paddling alone in america now. who have an unemployment rate 2.5 times those who are college educated and feel no party cares about them. you have the democratic party. barack obama. all he wants to do is make them more dependent. i was talking to a state official the other day in iowa who told me the state of iowa's being fined because they're not signing up enough people on to the medicaid program. this is what the answer is for the economic squalor that barack obama has visited on working men and women in this country and it's creating more government programs and getting them more dependent on those programs. we need a party that just
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doesn't talk about high finance and cutting corporate taxes or cutting the top tax rates. we need to talk about how we're going to put men and women in this country, who build this country, back to work in this country in the manufacturing sector of our economy. [ applause ] and there's one candidate that has done that. i have done that. i've done that throughout the course of this campaign. i talked about we're going to target and make sure we can be competitive. i was in boeing today and i was up at bmw yesterday. south carolina can compete with anybody in this world in manufacturing. [ applause ] we just need to give them the opportunity to compete. we are 20% more costly than our top nine trading partners and that's excluding labor costs. that's why i said we need to cut the corporate tax and manufacturing down to zero. we need to give manufacturers a leg up so they can compete for the jobs, half of which went from 21% of this country in
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manufacturing, down to 9%. we left the dreams of working men and women on the sideline. we need to show we're the party, we're the movement, that's going to get those reagan democrats, those conservative democrats, all throughout the states, that we need to win to win this election. to sign up with us and we'll put them back to work. [ applause ] >> let's stay on the economy and stay on the south carolina experience, all you gentlemen have had. this is a state incredibly proud of its military tradition and incredibly proud of its veterans. many of those veterans who have served post-9/11, served honorably in iraq and afghanistan, are coming back to a terrible economy. right now, unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans aged 18 to 24 is at 22%. congressman paul, to you first, sir. should the federal government be specifically targeting that part? our veterans coming back saying the unemployment rate is so high among that sub group that the
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federal government should offer tax incentives to employers? >> to some degree. you really want to make the environment healthy for everybody and not designate special places. but to help them out to come back is probably necessary on some occasions now. but we have to think about how serious our problems are here. because we face something much, much greater after world war ii. we had 10 million came home all at once. but what did we do then? there were some liberals who said we have to have more work programs. they thought they would have to do everything conceivable for those 10 million. they never got around to it because they came home so quickly. you know what the government did, they cut the budget by 60%. they cut taxes by 30%. by that time, the debt had been liquidated. and everybody went back to work again, that you didn't need any special programs. the one thing, talking about
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concern about the military and the veterans, i'm very proud that, you know, i get twice as many donations from the military, active military people, then all the rest put together. so i am very concerned about them. i think where the real problem is, is we can create a healthy economic environment if we did the right things. where the veterans really deserve help, both as a physician and as a congressman, is the people who come back and aren't doing well healthwise. they need a lot more help. we have an epidemic now of suicide of our military coming back. so they need a lot of medical help. and i think they come up short changed. they come up short changed after vietnam war, persian gulf war, and even now. they don't get care from the veterans administration. >> i think we all agree there's a generational challenge for the country with the brain injuries and other injuries. i want to stay on the economy for a minute. you started to shake your head. again, specifically, the role of government question.
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should the government be stepping in and saying we need to help these sub group and the economy that's hurting, the veterans? >> obviously, we have and should continue to have veteran preferences. people who went out and served this country should have preference for job positions when they come back and work in this economy. my dad and mom worked for the veterans administration. i grew up on a va grounds. lived in an apartment on those va grounds for the first 18 years of my life. i saw the impact of the vietnam war on those veterans who came back. they came back very damaged. they -- not just with physical wounds but a lot of psychological ones. and that's i'm sure a very big part of the high unemployment rate we're dealing with. we need to be much more aggressive. we have the president of the united states who said he is going to cut veterans benefits, cut our military, at a time when these folks are four, five, six, seven tours, coming back, in and out of jobs. sacrificing everything for this
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country. and the president of the united states can't cut one penny out of the social welfare system. and he wants to cut $1 trillion out of our military and hit our veterans and that's disgusting. >> governor, then mr. speaker. senator santorum passionately makes the case. also the time as you know of very tough budget decisions. how do you do it? what specifically do you do to help veterans? >> let's distinguish between what gets done at the federal level and what gets done at the state level. in our state we found a way to help our veteran s by saying, i you're going to come back, we'll pay for your education. we give you a full ride. we also had a plan that said if you come back and you've been out of work for a year or more, we're going to put like a bonus on your back which if anyone hires you, that bonus goes to them to pay for your training. so we can encourage that. let's do it at the state level. let's not have the federal government continue to extend its tentacles into everything
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that goes on in this country. let's take the money that we use to help people that have real needs and instead of having it all administered by the federal government who thinks they know how to do everything, let's take that money, bundle it, south carolina's fair share, send it to them and say, you care for your people in the way you feel best. let's do that at the state level. i agree, with what senator santorum said with regards to our military budget. right now for the president to be cutting $350,000 from our military budget, planning to cut another $650,000 -- $650 billion, excuse me, $350 billion. another $650 billion. $1 trillion. his secretary of defense says that represents a doomsday scenario. we've got an aging navy. we've got an aging air force. they're planning on cutting our number of active duty personnel. it is absolutely wrong to balance our budget on the backs of our military. we need a strong military, so strong no one in the world would ever think of testing it. >> mr. speaker, please come in.
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we'll have some conversations about commander in chief. specifically veterans who need jobs. >> i want to say two things about congressman paul's history. the u.s. government did two dramatic things after world war ii. they created a g.i. bill which enabled literally millions of returning veterans to go to college for the very first time. my father, who was in the second world war, went to college on a g.i. bill. so there was an enormous extension of opportunity that enabled him to integrate into a new emerging society. the second thing they did is they dramatically cut taxes. and the economy took off and grew dramatically and it absorbed the workforce. so i would say we ought to both have a transition process for veterans to enable them to have a real advantage in getting a job when they come home. and we ought to have a very aggressive economic program of regulatory cuts and tax cuts in
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american energy so the entire population is absorbed by getting back to about 4% unemployment in which case vi virtually every veteran would have a very good job at the end of the transition period. >> let's turn now and take a question from down in our audience tonight. go ahead, sir. >> my name is sonny, i'm from severe county, tennessee. do any of you sincerely believe obama care can either be repealed or reversed in its entirety? >> let me go first to governor romney. you had said you would do it on day one with an executive order. i know your friend, the south carolina governor, might like to have that option. help me understand, as you do that, how would it play out? and what happens to those, someone with a pre-existing condition, for example, who now has coverage under the president's health care plan, or a young american, 22, 23, 24, who because of the changes in the law can now stay a few extra
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years on their parent's health care. what happens to them when you sign that executive order? >> first of all, the executive order is a beginning process. it's one thing. but it doesn't completely eliminate obama care. it's one thing i want to get done to make sure states can take action to pull out of obama care. but number two, we have to go after a complete repeal. and that's going to have to happen -- [ applause ] that's going to have to happen with a house and a senate, hopefully, that are republican. if we don't have a republican majority, i think we'll be able to convince some democrats when the american people stand up loud and clear and say we do not want obama care, we do not want the higher taxes, we do not want a $500 billion cut in medicare, to pay for obama care, i think you're going to see the american people stand with our president and say, let's get rid of obama care. but we'll replace it. and i've laid out what i'll replace it with. first, it's a bill that does care for people that has pre-existing conditions. if they've got a pre-existing condition and they've been previously insured, they won't
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be denied insurance going forward. second secondly, i'll allow people to own their own insurance rather than getting it from their employer. i want people to take their insurance with them if they go from job to job. so we'll make it work in the way it's designed to have health care act like a market. a consumer market. as opposed to have it run like amtrak and the post office. that's what's at risk. at stake here. we go back to this. ours is the party of free enterprise, freedom. markets, consumer choice. theirs is the party of government knowledge, government domination, where barack obama believes he knows better for the american people what's best for them. he's wrong, we're right, that's why we're going to win. >> mr. speaker, you heard the skepticism. is a southern republican voter. he knows how washington works. he's asked, can it be reversed in its entirety. you were the speaker of the house. you understand how this works. how can it be repealed in this current political environment? >> first of all, if you've watched washington and you're not skeptical, you haven't
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learned anything. i mean, this system is a total mess right now. second, can you get it repealed in total? sure. you have to elect a house, a senate, a president committed to that. it has to be a major part of the fall campaign. i think frankly on our side with any of us it's going to be a major part of the fall campaign. the american people are frightened of bureaucratic centralized medicine. they deeply distrust washington. the pressure will be to repeal it. a lot of what governor romney said is sound stuff for the replacement. i would always repeal all of it because i so deeply distrust the congressional staffs that i would not want them to be able to pick and choose which things they kept. let me make one observation. you raise a good example. why is president obama for young people to be staying on their parent's insurance until they're 26? because they can't get any jobs for them to go out and buy their own insurance.
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i have an offer to the parents of america. elect us and your kids will be able to move out because they'll have work. >> one second. senator santorum, you heard governor romney and speaker gingrich. do you trust them, if one of them is the republican party's nominee and potentially the next president of the united states to repeal this law? >> the biggest thing we have to do is elect the president. i think newt's right. the problem is two of the people up here would be very difficult to elect. i think the most important issue that this country is dealing with right now. which is the robbing of our freedom because of obama care. governor romney tells a very nice story about what his plan is now. it wasn't his plan when he was in a position to do a plan. when he was governor of massachusetts, he put forth romney care. which was not a bottom up free market system. it was a governor run health care system that was the basis of obama care and it has been an abject failure and he has stood
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by it. by the fact that it's $8 billion more expensive than under the current law. he stood by the fact that massachusetts has the highest health insurance premiums of any state in the country. it is 27% more expensive than the average state in the country. doctors, if you're in the massachusetts health care system, over 50% of the doctors now are not seeing new patients, primary care doctors are not seeing new patients. those who do get to see a patient are waiting 44 days on average for the care. it is an abject disaster. he's standing by it. and he's going to have to run against a president who's going to say, well, look, look at what you did for massachusetts and you're the one criticizing me for what i've done? i used your model for it. and then -- [ cheers and applause ] then we have speaker gingrich who has been for an individual mandate, not back when the time -- when heritage was
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floated around in the '90s but as late as 2008, just a few years ago. stood up and said, an individual mandate or post $150,000 bond. how many $150,000 bond holders do we have here who can post a bond for their health insurance? these are two folks who don't present the clear contrast that i do. who was the author of health savings accounts. which is the primary basis of every single conservative reform of health care. i was the author of it back in 1991 and '92, 20 years ago. i've been fighting for health reform, private sector, bottom up, the way america works best, for 20 years. while these two guys were playing ftse oofootsies with th >> santorum directly challenged the governor and then the speaker. governor, you first. >> so much of what the senator said was wrong. first of all, the system and my state is not a government run
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system. 92% of the people had their own insurance before the system was put in place and nothing changed for them. they still have the same private insurance. the 8% of the uninsured, they brought private insurance, not government insurance. the people in the state still favor the plan 3-1. and it certainly doesn't work perfectly. massachusetts, by the way, had the highest insurance costs before the plan was put in place and after. but fortunately the rate of growth has slowed down a little less than the overall nation. one of the things i was proud of is individuals who wanted to buy their own insurance saw their rates -- when they were not part of a big group, saw their rates drop by some 40% with our plan. is it perfect? absolutely not. but i do believe that having been there, having been in the front lines, having shown i have compassion for people who don't have insurance but that the obama plan is a 2,007-page massive tax increase, medicare-cutting monster. i know how to cut it. i'll repeal it. i'll return the power to states, where the power for caring for
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the uninsured ought to reside constitutionally. thank you. >> he says your facts are wrong. >> 92% of people did have health insurance in massachusetts. but that wasn't private sector insurance. a lot of those people were as you know on medicare and medica medicaid. you just expanded, in fact, over half the people that came on the rolls since you put romney care into effect. fully subsidized by the state of massachusetts. a lot of those are on the medicaid program. the idea you've created this marketplace in -- with this government-run health care system, where you have very prescriptive programs about reimbursements rates. just like what president obama's trying to put in place here. you're arguing for a plan, you're defending a plan, that is top down. it is not a free market health care system. it is not bottom up. it is prescriptive in government. it was the basis for obama care. and you do not draw a
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distinction that's going to be effective for us just because it's the state level, not the federal level. >> quickly. >> absolutely. as you probably know, medicaid is not a state program. >> of course it is, state and federal program. >> medicaid is as demanded by the federal government. it's a mandate by the federal government and it's shared 50/50, state and federal. the people of massachusetts who are on medicaid i would like to end that program at the federal level, take the medicaid dollars and return them to the states and allow states to craft their own plans. that would make the plan we had in massachusetts a heck of a lot better. my view is get the federal government out of medicaid, get it out of health care. return it to the states. if you want to be governor of massachusetts, fine. but i want to be president and let states take responsibility for their own plans. >> it may seem like a while ago, mr. speak, but santorum made the state in his view you don't have credibility. >> what he said, i found mildly amazing, he thought i would have a hard time debating barack
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obama over health care. in fact, i, as republican whip, i led the charge against hillary care in the house. as speaker of the house, i helped preside over the conference which wrote into law his idea on health savings accounts. i was delighted to help him get it to be a law. and the fact is, i helped found the center for health transformation. i wrote a book called "saving lives and saving money" in 2002. you can go to healthtransformation.net and you'll see hundreds of ideas. none of which resemble barack obama's programs. so i'd be quite happy to have a three-hour lincoln/douglass style debate with barack obama. i'll let him use a teleprompter. i'll just rely on knowledge. we'll do fine. >> senator, i want to bring congressman paul in. you're shaking your head. quickly. >> obama care is an individual mandate. it is what is being litigated in the supreme court right now. it is government top down. telling every business, every
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american what kind of health care you will have. that is the problem with obama care at the core of it. and the speaker supported it repeatedly for a ten-year period. so when he goes and says, i can, you know, run rings around president obama in a debate, you can't run rings around the fact, newt, you supported the primary, core basis of what president obama's put in place. >> quickly, mr. speaker. congressman's getting lonely down here. let's go. >> just one brief comment. of course you can. i can say, you know, i was wrong and i figured it out. you were wrong and you didn't. [ applause ] >> newt, you held that position for over ten years. you know, it's not going to be the most attractive thing to go out there and say it took me 10 or 12 years to figure out i was wrong when guys like rick santorum knew it was wrong from the beginning. >> congressman paul, you have the floor. do you trust these men to repeal obama care? >> thank you. [ cheers and applause ]
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i thought you were -- i thought maybe you were prejudiced against doctors and a doctor that practiced medicine in the military or something. no, i want to address the question. the gentleman asked whether he thinks we can repeal obama care. theoretically, we can. the likelihood isn't all that good. we can diminish some of the effect. but i'm more concerned about a bigger picture of what's happening. and that is, government involvement in medicine. i had the privilege of practicing medicine in the early '60s before we had any government. it worked really well. there was nobody out in the street suffering with no medical care. but medicare and medicaid came in and it just expanded. but even when we had the chance to cut back on it, when we had a republican congress, and a republican president, we gave him prescription drug programs. senator santorum supported it. you know, that's expanding the government.
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most of them are bankrupt. prescription drugs. they're not going to be financed. medicare's not financed. medicaid's in trouble. but nobody talks about where the money's going to come from. now, even if my budget proposal, which is tough, because i'm going to cut $1 trillion the first year, but i try to really -- [ applause ] even though these programs should never started. but a lot of people depend on. i want to try to protect the people who are dependent on medical care. now, where does the money come? my suggestion is look at some of the overseas spending that we don't need to be doing. [ applause ] we have troops in korea since the korean war. in japan since world war ii. in germany. those are subsidies to these country. we keep fighting these wars that don't need to be fought. they're undeclared. they never end.
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world war ii was won in less than four years. nobody says where's the money coming from? we could work our way out of here and take care of these people, these medical needs. but we can't do it with the current philosophy of the government taking care of everybody forever on medicare care, cradle to grave, and being the policeman of the world. we will get rid of all this government program. unfortunately, because we're going bankrupt and you're going to have runaway inflation and our checks are going to bounce and that will be a lot worse problem than we're facing tonight. >> we'll ask our candidates to stand by. we have a couple breaks tonight. we'll take one of them now. one candidate suggested this week two candidates should get out of the race. one of them listened. we'll get the reaction from the other coming up. this is just in, while we've been on the air, speaker gingrich has released his tax returns. he's put them online. [ todd ] hello? hello todd. just calling to let you know
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i'm giving you the silent treatment. so you're calling to tell me you're giving me the silent treatment? ummm, yeah. jen, this is like the eighth time you've called... no, it's fine, my family has free unlimited mobile-to-any-mobile minutes. i can call all i want. i don't think you understand how the silent treatment works. hello? [ male announcer ] buy unlimited messaging and get free unlimited calling to any mobile phone on any network. at&t.
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back in charleston, south carolina. our southern republican presidential debate. the four gentlemen who would like to be the republican nominee for president. part of the political conversation during the crackling campaign in this great state this week. santorum, speaker gingrich thougsaid he thought it would be preferable if one had a direct campaign against romney. he suggested perhaps governor
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perry and senator santorum should get out of the race. in suggesting that, he said this, you don't have, quote, any of the knowledge for how to do something on this scale. what do you say to that? >> grandiosity has never been a problem with newt gingrich. he handles it very, very well. a month ago, he was saying, oh, it's inevitable i'm going to win the election. i'm destined to do it. i don't want a nominee that i tonight have to worry about going out and looking at the paper the next day and worrying about what he's going to say next. that's what i think we're seeing here. for him to suggest that someone who was tied for first and eventually won the iowa caucuses, had finished with twice as many votes as he did, finished ahead of him in new hampshire, in spite of the fact he spent an enormous amount of money in both those places, plus had the most important endorsement in the state, the manchester union leader, and i was ten points behind him and
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finished ahead of him. so i was 2-0 coming into south carolina and i should get out of the race? these are not dodcogent thought. let's just be honest. newt's a friend. i love him. at times sort of that, you know, worrisome moment that something's going to pop and we can't afford that in a nominee. i'm not the most flamboyant. i don't get the biggest applause lines here. but i'm steady. i'm solid. i'm not going to go out and do things that you're going to worry about. i'm going to be out there. i'm going to make barack obama the issue in this campaign. >> mr. speaker, take some time to respond. what exactly did you mean, doesn't have any of the knowledge for how to do something on this scale? >> well, it's a very simple question. how big a scale of change do we want in washington? i started working with governor reagan in 1974. i helped jack kemp and others
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the development of supply side economics. the enormous project of economic growth. created 16 million jobs. with president reagan's leadership, the soviet union disappeared. i spent 16 years on a grandiose project called creating a republican majority in the house. 16 years. most of the republican leaders in the house thought it was a joke. even the night before the election they thought it was a joke. we created the first majority. we then worked for two solid years. reformed welfare. two out of three people went back to work or went to school. we ultimately became the first re-elected republican majority since 1928. we then went on to cut taxes for the first time in 16 years. the largest capital gains tax cut in american history. in the four years, i was speaker, the american people, created 11 million new jobs. we balanced the budget four consecutive years. i think grandiose thoughts.
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this is a grandiose country of big people doing big things. we need leadership prepared to take on big projects. [ applause ] >> quickly. >> i will give newt gingrich his due on grandiose ideas and grandiose projects. i will not give him his due on executing those projects, which is exactly what the president of the united states is supposed to do. four years into his speakership, he was thrown out by the conservatives. it was a coup against him in three. i served with him. i was there. i knew what the problems were going on in the house of representatives when newt gingrich was leading there. it was an idea a minute. no discipline. no ability to be able to pull things together. i understand your taking credit for the 1994 election. you did have a lot of plans. we had meetings. early in the morning. on many a week. so we worked together on that. but you have to admit this freshman congressman who wasn't
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supposed to win a race came and did something you never did, which is blew the lid off the biggest scandal to hit the congress in 50 years. you knew about it for 10 or 15 years because you told me you knew about it. and you did nothing because you didn't have the courage to stand up to your own leadership. the democratic speaker of the house. take to the floor of the senate. demand the releasing of the checks that were being taken by members of congress. risk your political career. risk your promotion within the ranks. and that had more or as much to do with the 1994 win as any plan that you put together. [ cheers and applause ] >> mr. speaker, respond. >> you know, campaigns are interesting experiences for all of us. each of us rates a selective history that fits our interest. as a freshman in 1979, i moved to expel a member who was a convicted felon for the first time since 1917 against the wishes of our leadership. in the paige scandal in the
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1980s, i moved and threatened to expel them unless they were punished more severely against the wishes of the leadership. in the late 1980s, i initiated charges against the speaker of the house, jim wright, at rather considerable risk for a back bench member. in 1980, i opposed the president of the united states of my own party when he tried to raise taxes. i said i thought he actually meant read my lips and i led the fight against raising taxes. i think long before rick came to congress, i was busy being a rebel, creating conservative opportunities, developing a plan to win a majority in the congress. if you talk to anybody who worked with the congressional campaign committee from september 1978 on, for 16 years, i worked to help create the republican party nationally to become a majority. i worked to create go pac to train a majority. those are historic facts, even if they're inconvenient for rick's campaign. >> governor romney, you're raising your hand. i want to let you in on the
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conversation. also, you put an ad on the air paid by your campaign. not one of the superpac ads. calling the speaker an unreliable leader. why? let me go back and address what you just heard. what you listened to in my view and the speaker's rendition of history going back to 1978 is in my view a perfect example of why we need to send to washington someone who has not lived in washington but someone who's lived in the real streets of america, working in the private sector, who's led a business, who's started a business, who helped lead the olympics who helped lead a state. we need to have someone outside washington go to washington. if we want people who spent their life and their career, most of their career, in washington, we have three people on the stage -- i take that back, we have a doctor down here who spent most of his time in the surgical suite -- well not surgery, the birthing suite. i think america -- i think america has to make a choice as to whether wraern going to send
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people who spent their life in washington go represent our country or instead whether we're going to lead, have someone who go, who's been a leader in the private sector and knows how the economy works at the grassroots level. you asked me an entirely different question. >> beats me. i don't know. where are we at, john? >> let me tell you, one of the things i find amusing is listening to how much credit is taken in washington for what goes on, on main street. i -- i mean, mr. speaker, it was -- you talk about all the things you do with ronald reagan and reagan revolution and the jobs created during the reagan years and so forth. i looked at the reagan diary. you're mentioned once in ronald reagan's diary. in the diary, he says you had an idea in a meeting of young congressmen and it wasn't a very good idea and he dismissed it. that's the entire mention. i mean, he mentions george bush 100 times. he even mentioned my dad once.
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so there's a sense that washington is pulling the strings in america, but you know what, the free people of america, pursuing their dreams, taking risk, going to school, working hard, those are the people who make america strong, not washington. >> quickly respond, mr. speaker. >> this is probably a fundamental difference in our background, our experience. under jimmy carter, we had the wrong laws. we killed jobs. we went to 10.8% unemployment. under reagan, we had the right job, the right laws. we created 16 million new be jos. we had two consecutive tax increases. the economy stagnated. we went back to the reagan playbook. lower taxes. less regulation. 11 million jobs showed up. i do think government can kill jobs. i do think government can create the environment where entrepreneurs create jobs.
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you did very well under the rules we created to make it easier for entrepreneurs to do things. you'd have been much poorer if carter remained president. >> let me just -- >> quickly. >> let me just tell you, you're speaker four years. >> right. >> i was in business 25 years. >> right. >> so you're not going to get credit for my 25 years, number one. number two, i don't recall -- i don't recall a single day saying, oh, thanks heavens washington is there for me. thank heavens. i said, please get out of my way, let me start a business and put americans to work. >> let me get out of the way for a second and go back out to our audience and take a question from an audience member. sir. >> john from the great city of charleston. gentlemen, when will you release your tax returns specifically? >> an hour ago. >> mr. speaker posted his online an hour ago. congressman paul, start with
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you. we reached out to your campaign. they said you will not release your tax returns. why? >> hadn't thought it through. i don't have an intention of doing it. for a different reason. i'd probably be embarrassed to put my financial statement up against their income. i don't want to be embarrassed because i don't have a greater income. now, i mean, it may come to that. but right now, i have no intention of doing that. i think with our financial statements, congressional financial statements, i think you know more about me than i know about myself. that's how my wife found out so much about what we were doing, you know, from my financial statements. no, we don't need -- i don't think people need that. because nobody's challenging me because i have no conflict of interests. and i don't even talk to lobbyists. and i don't take that kind of money. so there's no conflicts. >> all right. governor romney, when will we see yours? >> when my taxes are complete for this year. and i know if i'm the nominee, the president's going to want to insist that i show what my income was this last year and so
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forth. when they're completed this year in april, i'll release my returns in april and probably for other years as well. i know that's what's going to come. every time the democrats are out there trying their very best to try and attack people because they've been successful. i have been successful. let me tell you, the challenge in america is not people who have been successful. the challenge in america, and president obama doesn't want to talk about this, is you've got a president who's played 90 rounds of golf while there are 25 million americans out of work. and while the price of gasoline has doubled, he said no to the keystone pipeline. and while we've got $15 trillion in debt, he said, look, i'm going to put another $1 trillion in debt for obama care. that's the problem in america. not the attacks they make on people who have been successful. >> some of the questions about when do you release your taxes, his campaign has raised them, you're right on that. so has some of your rivals up here. governor perry made that point as well before he left the race. why not should the people of south carolina before this
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election see last year's return? >> because i want to make sure that i beat president obama. every time we release things drip by drip, the democrats go out with another array of abeing th attacks. i'll put these out at one time so we have one discussion of all of this. i obviously pay all full taxes. i'm honest in my dealings with people. people understand that. my taxes are carefully managed. i pay a lot of taxes. i've been very successful. when i have our taxes ready for this year, i'll release them. >> speaker, is that good enough? >> he's got to decide. the people of south carolina have to decide. if there's anything in there that will help us lose the election, we should know it before the nomination. if there's nothing in there, why not release it? it's a very simple model. but he's got to decide. it's his decision. everybody's got to run their own campaign based on what they think is the reasonable risk. i released mine this evening.
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we also released the little small charitable foundation we have. so people can see what we do. >> senator santorum, when will we see yours? >> well, i do my own taxes. they're on my computer and i'm not home. so -- and there's nobody at home right now till i get home. when i get home, you'll get my x thats. taxes. >> you did call on the governor to release his. >> somebody asked. i said question. i don't think it's a big deal. if governor romney's told what his tax rate is. mine's higher than that i can assure you. all i know it was very painful writing a check last april. that's all i can tell you. >> governor romney, you mentioned the democratic attacks. i want to ask you to go back in history a little bit. back in 1967, your father set a ground-breaking what was then a ground-breaking standard in american politics. he released his tax returns.
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not for one year but for 12 years. he said this, one year could be a fluke. perhaps done for show. when you release yours, will you follow your father's example? >> maybe. i don't know how many years i'll release. i'll take a look at what our documents are. [ audience shouting ] >> and i'll release multiple years. i don't know how many years. i'll be happy to do that. let me tell you, i know there are some who are very anxious to see if they can't make it more difficult for a campaign to be successful. i know the democrats want to go after the fact i've been successful. i'm not going to apologize for being successful. [ applause ] i'm not suggesting these people are doing that. but i know the democrats will go after me on that basis. that's why i want to release these things all at the same time. my dad, as you know, born in mexico. poor.
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didn't get a college degree. became head of a car company. i could have stayed in detroit like him. and gotten pulled up in the car -- i went off on my own. didn't inherit money from my parents. what i have, i earned. i worked hard. the american way. [ applause ] i'm going to be able -- i'm going to be able to talk to president obama in a way no one else can that's in this race right now about how the free economy works. what it takes to put americans back to work. make sure he understands this divisiveness dividing americans between 99 and 1 is dangerous. we are one nation under god. >> you've raised the topic of putting american back to work. another question from our audience. not quite yet. let's stay up here. you mentioned putting america back to work. let's talk about something. apple computer. apple computer is a breath-takingly important american company. senator santorum, it's one of the respected companies in the country. i've handed it off but i carry apple products do my work every day.
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it employs about 500,000 people in china. it is based in the united states. has some employees here. about 40,000 something. most of them in retail stores and at the headquarters. 500,000 of them are in china. as president of the united states, what do you do about that? >> i'm the only person on this stage that will do something about it. i've got a specific plan in place that i've put out there called the made in the usa plan for example these kinds of companies. that have created great technology and then go somewhere else to make them. because america is uncompetitive. and that's why we have to cut the corporate tax to zero for all corporations who manufacture and process in this country. people have said, why are you doing it for corporations and only cutting it in half, which i do, to 17.5% for the rest. it's because the local pharmacy's not going to move to china. the jobs we're losing are jobs we have to compete with other countries. and those are manufacturing jobs. the reason they're going there is not because our workers or
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our management in this country are not productive. we have great productivity gains. it's amazing the transformation that has been made in the last decade or two about our manufacturing processing here. it is simply government getting in the way. none of these folks do anything. i do dramatic things that send a signal. apple, you have all those employees over there. if you want to bring that money back, right now, you pay a 35% tax. under our plan if you bring it back and invest it in plant and equipment here in charleston, you pay nothing. you put that money to work. if you invest it, you pay nothing. it's a powerful incentive. you throw on top of that the energy policies we put out there to revitalize the energy sector. manufacturing, energy cost is a big deal. we have an energy piece. also a piece having to do with regulations. the obama administration has promulgated 2.5 times the number of regulations that cost american businesses over $100 million a year.
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2 1/2 times the last 16 years of presidents. this president is putting a burden on manufactures and business. it's the reason we're not making things here. i'll repeal every single one of those regulations on day one. >> congressman paul, how do you revive made in america? >> you have to create the right conditions to bring these companies back and they have to bring their capital back and should be taxed. apple's a great company. the way you asked the question, it infers that because there's a bunch of workers overseas, it hasn't benefited a lot of people here. the consumers obviously have been benefited by a good company well run. but obviously there's a lot of employees with apple in this country as well. i don't think that's the number you have to be concerned about. a lot of people worry about us buying and money going overseas. but if you send money to china, let's say they're paying wages other there and we send dollars over there, they don't put the dollars in a shoe box. they have to spend those dollars. unfortunately, they're buying
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our debt and perpetuating our consumerism here and our debt here. but immediately, there's a benefit to us because those dollars come back. but also when you get products, if you're buying products cheaper over there, let's say the computer cost $100 instead of $1,000. well, the person's just saved $900. that helps the economy. that $900 stays in that person's pocket. so whether it's shoes or computer. so we shouldn't be frightened about trade or sending money on. but we have to look at the reason why they're doing this. i mean, even the car companies, there's obviously a problem with car companies here. they're in bigger trouble. we had to bail them out. there are foreign companies that build cars in this country and they make a living out of it. so it's more complex than that. but we have to do whatever we can. i think the -- i think the -- the union problem, the right to work states, and of course i've chided senator santorum on this
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because he has voted, you know, against right to work. but we have to change these conditions to invite people back. but believe me the regulations and the fact that we are the issuer of the reserve currency of the world is a real temporary blessing for us because it's easy for us to export our money. that's unfortunately our greatest export. and they're still taking our money. soon though they're going to quit. and this whole ball game is going to end and we better get prepared for it. [ applause ] >> mention, senator santorum, go ahead, quickly. >> i've already signed a pledge and said i would sign a national right to work bill. when i was a senator from pennsylvania which is a state that is not a right to work state. the state made a decision not to be right to work. i wasn't going to go to washington and overturn that from the federal government and do that to the state. that's a very different position. >> quickly, sir. >> yeah, the response should be, yes, i understand that, that's the way politics worked. you voted the way you thought --
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>> representative government works. >> yes, for your state. as president are you going to represent south carolina or pennsylvania? that's really the question. >> well, maybe you didn't hear what i said. i said i would support a national right to work law and sign it into law. and would support it and advocate for one. >> let's continue the economic conversation with some input from a question from twitter. #cnndebate. what is your take on sopa? for those who have not been following it, sopa is the internet piracy act. opponents say it's censorship. our parent company, time warner, says we need a law like this because some of it's products, movies, programming and the like, being ripped off online. let me start with you, mr. speaker. there's two competing ends, two engines even of our economy here. ed an. at odds on this. >> you ask the conservative about the economic interests of hollywood.
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[ applause ] i'm weighing it. i'm not rushing in. i'm trying to think through all of the many fond left wing people who are so eager to protect. on the other hand, you have virtually everybody who's technologically advanced including google and youtube and facebook and all the folks who say this is going to totally mess up the internet. the bill in its current form is written badly. and leads to a range of censorship that is totally unacceptable. well, i favor freedom. and i think that if you -- if we have a patent office, we have copyrighted law. if a company finds it has genuinely been infringed upon it has the right to sue. but the idea we're going to preemptively have the government start censoring the internet on behalf of giant corporations, economic interests, strikes me as exactly the wrong thing to do. >> mr. speaker, governor romney,
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these companies complain that their software, that their publishing, their movies, their shows, are being ripped off. >> i think you got it just about right. the truth of the matter is that the law as written is far too intrusive, far too expensive, far too threatening, the freedom of speech and movement of information across the internet. it would have a potentially depressing impact on one of the fastest growing industries in america. which is the internet. at the same time, we care very deeply about intellectual content going across the internet. if we can find a way to very narrowly go after those people who are pirating, we'll do that. a very broad law which gives the government the power to start stepping into the internet and saying who can pass what to whom, i think that's a mistake. i'd say no, i'm standing for freedom. >> it's a big issue in the country right now. congressman paul and senator santorum, your views on this one quickly. >> i was the first republican to sign on with a host of democrats
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to oppose this law. and we have worked -- we have had a concerted effort. i feel like we're making achievement. this bill is not going to pass. but watch out for the next one. i am pleased that the attitude is sort of mellowed up here. because the republicans unfortunately have been on the wrong side of this issue. this is a good example on why it's good to have somebody that can look at civil liberties and work with coalitions and bring people together. freedom and the constitution bring factions together. i think this is a good example. >> those who support the law, senator, argue tens of thousands of jobs are at stake. >> i don't support this law. i agree everybody with up here, that is goes too far. i will not agree with everybody up here there isn't something that can and should be done to protect the intellectual property rights of people. the internet is not a free zone where anybody can do anything they want to do and trample the rights of other people. and particularly when we're talking about, in this case
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we're talking about entities offshore that are doing so, that are pirating things. so the idea that the government -- that you have businesses in this country and the government has no role to p try to protect the intellectual property of people who have those rights in this country from people overseas pirating them and then selling them back into this country, it's great, i mean, i'm for frooshee, but i'm for people abusing the law. i think something proper should be done. i agree this goes too far. the idea that, you know, anything goes on the internet, where did that come from? where in america does it say anything goes? we have laws. we respect the law and the rule of law is an important thing and property rights should be respected. >> all right, gentlemen, i want to thank you. audience, applaud if you wish. take one more break. much more of our debate to come including this question, after months of campaigning, if these candidates could do one thing over, what would it be?
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i'm john king. this is the cnn southern republican presidential debate. many of you are watching online. when we come back, we'll ask the four candidates for president this question, after months and months of campaigning, if you could do one thing over, what would be it? stay with us. we're america's natural gas
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welcome back to the southern republican presidential debate. i'm john king. we're live in charleston, south carolina. a lot more issues to wonder through tonight. just want to take this moment, after months and months of campaigning, maybe this is fun, maybe it isn't. speaker gingrich, i want to start with you. you're at this for months and you're out there. if there's one thing, just one thing in this campaign you could do over, what would it be? >> i would skip the opening three months where i hired regular consultants and tried to figure out how to be a normal candidate and just go straight at being a big solutions internet-based campaign from day one. just didn't work. it's not who i am. i'm not capable of being a sort of traditional candidate. very idea-oriented candidate. i think the internet makes it possible to create a momentum of
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ideas that's very exciting. >> governor romney? >> work to get 25 more votes in iowa, that's for sure. and let's see, i guess -- i guess i also would go back and take every moment i spent talking about one of the guys on the stage and spent that time talking about barack obama. the truth is that barack obama is just way over his head. he's taking our country down a path that is very dangerous. he's making us more and more like a europen social welfare state. he's taking away the rights off our citizens. look, the right course for america is to return to our fundamental principles. i would be talking about that more and probably about my colleagues less because frankly any one of them would be a better president than the one we got.
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>> senator. >> i thought about that. you know what, i wouldn't change a thing. for me to be standing here in the final four is about as amazing a thing i could ever conceive of happening. someone who had no money. who lost his last race. who everyone basically ignored. as i traveled around south carolina, iowa and new hampshire. and just talked to people. town hall meeting. 700 town hall meetings. just going around. and it proved that good ideas and hard work still pay off in america. and it just was an affirmation to me of the great process we have. >> congressman. >> i can't think of any one thing i would do differently, but i would continue to do what i'm always trying to do. one thing i believe about a free society is it provides the opportunity for us to work for our own virtue and excellence.
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and in campaigning, i think i can still learn a lot about becoming a better delibber of a message and the conviction i have. i think if i spoke a little slower and maybe more conviction i could do a better job. i think in general i could -- i will continue to work on deli r delivering a message which i think is a great message. >> let's get back to our issues discussion. a question down in our audience. >> i would like to ask the issue of amnesty of the illegal aliens. would you -- how would you secure the american citizens would keep the jobs in line first for them. >> mr. speaker, let's start with you on that. she mentioned the word amnesty. you explained your position in this campaign. as you know, some conservatives have said, no, mr. speaker, you say you can't deport maybe it's 10, 11, some people say as high as 20 million people illegally
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in this country. as you know, many conservatives say no, that's amnesty, mr. speaker. >> let's start with i think you have to first of all control the border. i don't think you can pass a comprehensive bill because nobody trusts the government. first you control the border. we have a bill that would have it controlled by january 1, 2014. get it build and controlled by 2014. i'm prepared to move up by half the people who work for homeland security. they have 22,000 employees in washington. i'd be prepared to move half of them to texas, arizona, new mexico, if that's what it took to control the border. [ applause ] second, i favor english as the official language of government. i think that creates a continuity. [ applause ] third, i would actually modernize the legal system of visas, because currently we make
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it too difficult to come here legally and too easy to come here illegally. fourth, i would make it much easier to deport people. so if you were a noncitizen who belonged, say, to ms-13, an el salvadorian gang, we should be able to get rid of you in two weeks, not two years. i favor a guest worker program. i would outsource it to american express, visa or mastercard because they can run it without fraud and the federal government's hopeless. so you want a system that is accurate and that is anti-fraud, which leads you then to be able to say to private employers, if you hire somebody who's illegal, we're going to have an enormous economic sanction, because there will be no excuse once you have a guest worker program that's legal. then you get down to the question of people who are already here. i believe in what i just described most of them will go home. the one group i signaled out -- and we do have a lively debate on this up here. there are people who have been here 25 years. they've been working. they've been paying their bills.
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they're married. they have children. they may have grandchildren. they may be in your church. now, i don't think we're going to deport grandmothers and grandfathers who have 25 years of networking and relationships in a community. i've suggested a world war ii-style draft board where local citizens would review the applications. you could only apply if you proved that you were financially responsible. you proved you had genuine family ties. and you had an american family sponsor you. you still wouldn't get amnesty. you wouldn't get citizenship. you would get a residency permit. in order to apply for a citizenship, you would have to go back to your own country and get in line behind everybody else and be processed as a person from that country. but i think this is a doable solvable practical solution. and i think trying to deport grandmothers and grandfathers will never pass the congress and would never be accepted by the american people. >> governor romney, is that the doable practical solution?
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>> you know, the issue of illegal immigration is relatively straight forward compared to the tough issues we face. issues like how we're going to compete with china as it grows its military of extraordinary scale and navy of that scale. how we're going to deal with radical violent jihadists. medicare, medicaid, social security. we've got real challenge, that are tough. this one is not tough. you build a fence. you have enough border patrol agents to secure the fence. you also have a system of giving to people who come here legally an identification card and you expect employers and insist employers check that card before they hire someone. if they don't check the card, if they don't run it through the u.s. database and get an instant response from the government or from mastercard, visa, american express or whomever, those employers are going to get severely sanctioned. if you do that, we solve the problem of illegal immigration. with regards to those who come here illegally now, we're not going to round them all up and deport them but we're not going
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to give them a preferential pathway to become citizens. they need to go back home, apply for citizenship, apply for permanent residency, like everyone else. coming here illegally should not give you an advantage being able to become a permanent resident of the united states. >> do you have the same view, senator? >> well, i come at it from -- as being the son of an immigrant. my grandfather came to this country and brought my dad when he was 7 years old. that's the story that i love and am familiar with and believe in my heart of hearts that immigration is -- people who want to come to this country and be americans is really the continuing infusion of freedom and enthusiasm for our country. but when you come here illegally, the first act you take is to break our law. that's a different story. two folks here. mitt romney has a position now that people have to go home.
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now he's changed his position. speaker gingrich believes there needs a legal pathway. again, just like health care, we need a clear contrast. someone who can say, look, i have always been for making sure the law's enforced and enforced fairly. i agree for people who have been here 25 years and maybe have to be separated from their family, if they were picked up and deported, but my father grieved for his father when he came to this country and lived here five years. and other folks who sacrificed. who came here to america. did it the right way according to the law. because america was worth it. and if you want to be an american, the first thing you should do is respect our laws and obey our laws.
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and the idea that someone who came here and lived here 25 years has only broken one law. if they worked for 25 years, they've been breaking the law for 25 years. if they've been working, they have probably stolen someone's social security number and they've committed social security fraud. this is not just a single occurrence. it's an ongoing issue. if we treat people like that differently than we do with a mother who out of a desperate situation goes out and shoplifts or does something and gets thrown in jail, what are we seeing? we're going to treat people differently? i don't think so. >> you mentioned both governor romney and the speaker -- take a moment quickly. i want to bring congressman paul in the question. >> i ran for president four years ago. this was the position i described when i ran four years ago. wrote a book, laid out my position. i actually agreed i think with what you just said. i believe those people who have come here illegally should not be given a preferential path to
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become permanent residents or citizens of this country. >> i'll be happy to show you the quotes of what you said. people should have a pathway to citizenship. not citizens, pathway to be legal in this country, not citizenship. >> the pathway i've described is those individuals who have come here illegally should be able to register in this country, have a temporary period to arrange their affairs and return home and get to the back of the line like everyone else. and the position i've had is people who have come here illegally should not be given a preferential pathway relative to others but should be able to get in the same line at the back of the line. i agree with the senator. i'm sorry you don't acknowledge my agreement. but i agree with you. that this is a nation of laws. at the same time, i think it's important. i'm glad you mentioned this. i didn't in my answer. we need to underscore the fact we're a party of legal immigration. we like legal immigration. we want legal immigration. and to protect legal
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immigration, we want to stop illegal immigration. we don't want to do anything that would suggest to people come on in here, just wait long enough, whether it's five years or ten years. wait long enough and we'll take you all in on an amnesty basis. i want people to get in line legally. >> congressman paul, you're from a border state. if this is a problem, you've heard your colleagues talk about and making sure employers, companies that hire large numbers of people, making sure they get the message. what about individuals? about a quarter of the illegal immigrants in the country work for individuals. if this is a problem, if i hire an illegal immigrant to clean my home, should i be prosecuted for doing that? >> i don't believe you should be. that makes you the policeman, the businessman, if they do anything to help an illegal immigrant, it should be the law enforcers and that is the federal government in charge of immigration. i don't agree with those laws. doesn't mean i'm soft in the issue of illegal immigration.
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i can't imagine anybody standing up here and saying, oh, i'm for illegal immigration. i think what we fail to do is look at the incentives. it has a lot to do with economics. there's an economic incentives for them to come. there's also an incentive for some of our people in this country not to take a job that's a low-paying job. you're not supposed to say that but that is true. there's also an incentive in the welfare state for immigrants to come in. in texas, we suffer from the fact that there are federal mandates we have to take care of their educational and medical needs and it bankrupts our hospitals. so it's manle it date le imanda. we need more resources. i find the resources are all overseas. when i was in the military, i was on the pakistan/afghanistan border and that is a no-man's-land. you can't see the border.
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at least we can see the river south of texas. we know where the rio grande is. we're over there fighting and dying over that border. looking for problems. why don't we quit pretending we can defend those borders and put them on our borders and take care of our needs here? [ cheers and applause ] >> mr. speaker. >> i just think if you're going to raise immigration, i want to make the point from the very first day i'm inaugurated, i will issue an order to the justice department to drop the lawsuits against south carolina, alabama, and arizona. the federal government should enforce the law, not stop states from helping it enforce the law. >> i think we have nodding heads. i assume we have agreement on that. another issue this week. that's the life issue. mr. speaker your campaign sent out a mailing to south carolina
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republicans across this state. essentially questioning governor romney's commitment on this issue. saying he has changed his position on the abortion issue. if you recall, i moderated a debate back in new hampshire in june. there were seven candidates then. we have four tonight. when they came up, we talked about it briefly. then i asked, is that a fair game, an issue in this campaign, or is it case closed? mr. cain who was with us at the time said case closed. no one else took the opportunity to speak up. if it was case closed then, why is a legitimate issue now? >> you just said nobody else spoke. nobody else said yes it was case closed. the rest of us -- it wasn't a particular issue. wasn't a fight that night. i mean, we were allowed to run our own campaigns, john. it's not an automatic requirement we fit into your debate schedule. this is -- look, this is a very straight forward question. governor romney -- and i accept this. governor romney has said that he
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had a experience in a lab and became pro-life. i accept that. after he became pro-life, romney care does pay for tax-paid abortions. romney care has written into it planned parenthood. the largest abortion provider in the country. by name. does not have any right to life group written into it. he did appoint pro-abortion judges. and a branch of the government which included his appointees did agree to fund an abortion clinic for planned parent hood. all that occurred after he had become pro-life. now, those are all facts which we validated and essentially that's a legitimate part of the campaign. if you're genuinely pro-life, how come these things are occurring? >> governor romney, he questions whether you're genuinely pro-life. >> i'm not questioned on character and integrity very often. i don't feel like standing here for that but let me clarify the things which are wrong and what the speaker just said. and he can get a scintilla of
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truth in there to make it seem like this is a significant issue. let's go through one by one. in romney care, there's no mention of abortion whatsoever. the courts in massachusetts, the sou supreme court, was the body that decided at all times if there was any subsidy of health care in massachusetts that one receive abortion care. that was not done by me. that was done by the courts. it's true, somewhere in that bill of ours, 70 pages, there's the mention of the word planned parenthood. it describes a person at a technical advisory board about payment structures. there's no requirement or no participation of planned parenthood in our health care plan. with regards to judges, i appointed probably 50 or 60 judges at the trial court level mostly. the great majority. these were former prosecutors, 80% of them former prosecutors. we don't have a litmus test for appointing judges. asking them if they're pro-life or not pro-life. these are people going after
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crimes and the like. i didn't get to appoint any supreme court justices. i am pro-life. and the massachusetts citizens for life and several other family family-oriented groups wrote a letter two weeks ago that said they watched my record, i'm an avidly pro-life governor. i'm a pro-life individual. i have to be honest here. it is -- this is not the time to be doubting people's words or questioning their integrity. by the way, is there any possibility i've ever made a mistake in that regard? i didn't see something i should have seen? possibly. you can count on me as president of the united states to pursue a policy that protects the life of unborn, whether here in this country or overseas. i'll reverse the policies of this president. thank you. >> mr. speaker, he says you're questioning his integrity. >> i yield to senator santorum. >> i just want to make out one point. a lot of legislators here in the room and they know this to be the truth. that if you write a piece of
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legislation and you say medical care and you do not specifically mention that abortion is not covered, we know from every court decision at the state and federal level the federal court and state courts require it. that is something every governor knows, every state length late ur knows. when governor romney did not put that in the bill, you can't say, oh, surprise. he knew very well the court would make them cover abortions. that's number one. number two -- number two, what we're talking about here is someone who's not going to just check the boxes and say, yes, i'm pro-life. we got a lot of folks who just whisper into the microphone that they're pro-life. then you have other people go out and fight the battle and defend life and come out of the trenches and actually work to make sure the dignity of every human life, innocent human life in this country, is protected. and i've done that.
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[ applause [ applause ] i would say in contrast with speaker gingrich who on the social issues in particular when he was speaker and even afterwards, they were pushing the back bench. a pledge to america that the congress tried to put together in 2010. i got phone calls ringing off the hook that speaker beginning rich went in and told them keep those out. we need you to come in and help, try to convince these folks to put that back into the pledge. we don't need someone in the back rooms will say social issues are in the front, the back of the bus and come out here and try to pretend they're pro-life. >> governor romney, speaker gingrich, he mentioned you both. please quickly. >> senator, i admire the fact you've been a stalwart defender of pro-life in a state where that's not easy. was also a governor in a state where being pro-life was not easy. i battled hard. what came to my desk was a piece of legislation that said we're going to redefine when life begins. in our state, we said life began
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at conception. the legislature wanted to change that to say no we're going to do that at implantation. i vetoed that. the legislature also said we want to allow cloning for purposes of creating new embryos of testing. i vetoed that. they didn't want abstinence education. i pursued abstinence education. there was an effort to have a morning after pill provided to young women in their teens. i vetoed that. i stood as a pro-life governor. that's why the massachusetts pro-life family association supported my record as governor, endorsed my record as governor. i did my very best to be a pro-life governor. i will be a pro-life president. i'm proud of that. i wrote about that in my book. my record is solid. i appreciate your record. i hope you'll appreciate mine. >> mr. speaker, he mentioned you specifically. then we want to move on. please respond. >> well, the fact is, i voted with henry hyde, who is the leading pro-life advocate in the house for ray ja generation.
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the only one we disagreed on was welfare reform which they scored for reasons we never understood. but otherwise was a perfect record on pro-life. when i was speaker, we twice passed a bill that actually rick was active in to end partial birth abortion. twice it was vetoed by clinton but twice we passed it. in the 2010 election, the freshman class has the highest percentage of pro-life members ever in history and my job was to maximize their winning and the fact is we won a huge victory in 2010 with the largest number of pro-life members ever elected in a freshman class. >> all right, let's take another question. i'll bring you in on this one. let's take a question now from social media. question -- before we move on, you want in on this issue? they want you in on this issue. would you like in on this issue? >> john, once again, it's a
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medical subject. i'm a doctor. no, i do want to make a couple comments because i can remember the very early years studying obstetrics i was told -- it was before the age of abortion. i was told taking care of a woman that's pregnant, you have two patients. i think that solves a lot of the problem about, you know, when life begins and all. [ applause ] i also experienced a time later on in my training in the 1960s when the culture was changing. the vietnam war was going on. the drugs were there. pornography came in and abortion became prevalent even though it was illegal. the morality of the country changed. the law followed up. when morality changed, it reflects on the laws. the law's very important. we should have these laws. law will not correct the basic problem. that's the morality of the people. that we must do. now, just very briefly, i want to talk a little bit about that funding.
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because the flaw there is if you send funding out, you say, well, you can have it for birth control but not for abortion, all funds are fungible. even funds that go to any hospital, if you say, well, it's not for birth control and it's not for planned parenthood, it's not for abortion, if you send it to the hospital, they can still use that money. this is an indictment of government-run medicine because you never can sort that all out. you need the government out of that business or you will always argue over who's paying what bills. >> very quickly, senator. >> i think that was directed at me. i would just say this, congressman paul has a national right to life voting record of 50%. which is pretty much what harry reid's national right to life voting record is. so for -- to go out and say you're someone who stands up for the right to life, you repeatedly vote against bills on a federal level to promote the right to life. and you say that this is an individual, personal decision or state decision.
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life should be protected. you should have the willingness to stand up on a federal law and every level of government. what our law protects. that's a federal issue, not a state issue. >> i wasn't thinking about you when i was giving my statements. you are overly sensitive. but it is true that we have a disagreement on how we approach it. i follow what my understanding is of the constitution. and it does allow for the states to deal with difficult problems. matter of fact, it allows the states to deal with almost all the problems. if you look at it. it is not given -- these powers aren't given to the congress. i see abortion as a violent act. all other violence is handled by the states. so don't try to say i'm less
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pro-life because i want to be particular about the way we do it and allow the states the prerogative. this is the solution. this is the solution. because if we would allow the states to write their laws, take away the jurisdiction by a majority vote in the congress, you repeal roe versus wade overnight, instead of waiting year after year to change the court system. >> all right. we need to take one more break, gentlemen. stand by. less than 35 hours away now from the polling opening in south carolina, a state that is crucial, often decisive, in republican presidential politics. stay with us. hear the candidate's closing arguments to the voters of a state that takes pride in picking presidents.
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welcome back to the southern republican presidential debate. we're in charleston, south carolina. time flies. i don't suspect you have campaigning to do. we're inside 35 hours of voters going to the polls, and we know the history of the state. in modern times, the winner has gone on to be your party's nominee. interesting race. santorum won iowa, romney won new hampshire. people believe if romney wins here, he would be the prohibitive favorite. congressman paul, make your case. south carolina makes the decision, not so fast, or embrace governor romney. make your case. >> south carolina is known for their respect for liberty, and a lot of people will ask the
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question -- they will ask the question, what will you do for south carolina or what will you do for new hampshire, for the various states. if you understand liberty, it's equal for everybody, it benefits everybody, so it doesn't have a projectional liberty, which is the purpose of the constitution, protection of individual liberty, that means you protect the private property life system. that benefits everybody. this is what we have to do, convince people we can bring people together with an understand of what the believes were that made america great. it's freedom. it isn't this continues spending money and debt. we're in a mountain of debt and we have to get around to fixing that. we haven't gotten around to talking about that. my modest proposal is taking $3 trillion out of the budget to get started because the debt is a burden to all of us, and a
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programs are going to go down if we don't get our budget under control, we have to look at overseas spending and all of the entitlement systems here in the country. >> mr. speaker. >> well, i want to thank cnn and the people of charleston for a very, very interesting and useful evening. we have a real challenge. it is imperative that we defeat barack obama. this is, i believe, the most dangerous president of our lifetime. and if he is re-elected after the disaster he's been, the level of radicalism of his second term would be truly frightening. but in addition to beating obama, we need to have a team victory in the senate and house and a principal victory so the american people send a signal in
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january of 2013, they want very dramatic, very deep change in washington. i believe the only way to create the momentum is to be able to overcome his billion dollar campaign. with a series of debates which decisively convince the american people that a sololinsky radical who is incomitant cannot be elected, and i hope you'll vote on me saturday as the person who can do that. >> senator romney? >> i agree with a lot of what these last two men have said. this is an absolutely critical election. i believe that the founders took very careful thought in preparation of the words of the declaration of unless that said the creator had endowed us with inalienable rights, life, p
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liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. this could be where we're able to pursue our dreams. people came here from all over the world, wishing to pursue happiness iptheir own way, and that has made us the most powerful economic enjen in the world where we can guard freedom because our military is the strongest in the world. this president is changing that, changing the very nature of america. he's turning us not from a merit society, a opportunity society where people are free to choose their own course, but an entitlement society, where govern takes from said and gives to others. we need to rurnl to the principles upon which this country was founded. our president said, i think in a very revealing way, he wants to fundamentally change america, he's wrong. we need to restore the values that made america. and i'll restore the values,
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i'll do everything in my power to keep america free, to fight for free enterprise, by standing up to president obama and point out how he's made it almost impossible for our private sector to reboot. i'll defeat barack obama and keep this city as it's always been, shining on the state hill. >> senator santorum. >> i agree with governor romney, 100% of what he said about this is what the stakes are. question is, who is the best person to take on president obama. i would make the argument that a conviction conservative who has a clear contrast with president obama on the most important issues of the day is the best person. someone who has a clear contrast on health care, a clear contrast on cloglobal warming. a clear contrast on the wall street bailout. the one issue, the huge issue in the last couple years where the government has taken over and
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mi governor romney has supported the. we need somebody who not only says now we're going to stand up, but the big issue, someone who has a track record of doing so and winning. the only one in the race who has ever defeated a democratic incumbent, i did it for the congress and senate. i did it because i have a plan like i outlined today. i come from those states. i come from the background, i come with the working class and strong credentials, not just with a plan, but with a character that fits in with exactly the voters we need, the reagan democrats and pennsylvania and ohio and michigan and indiana, and wisconsin, those are the votes and those are the states. you want to win, elect someone who can win in the states we have to win and draw the clear contrast with president obama. south carolina, we've been told in the past, you have to settle
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for a moderate because they can win, and you said the last time we had a situation like this, 1980s, you said, no, we're going to take the strong conviction conservative, and you voted for reagan before reagan was the reagan we knew. vote for the one who can do the job that america needs. vote for me. >> i want to thank all of our candidates for their time. tonight, i want to thank our wonderful audience and the people of ousouth carolina. tune in for cnn 6:00 p.m. on saturday. our south carolina preflsh primary, and next thursday, we'll be live in jacksonville, florida, where presidential candidates will debate there. our coverage continues right now. >> and welcome back to this special edition of 360 here. i'm anderson cooper. what a night, electric.
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right off the bat. it's been a very firely debate. awkward moments with mitt romney on his taxes. sharp exchanges with santorum and ginggroom and momry. a tough back and forth over legislation. gingrich denying his asked his second wife for an open marriage. that was the fiery start of the debate. the candidates right now are -- they're with their family members, soon to be greeting supporters here on the stage and in this auditorium. rick santorum will be joining us shortly. newt gingrich will be joining us shortly as well. less than 36 hours to go right now until south carolinians go. tonight, they got perhaps their last best chance to size up who is best to take on president obama. first, some of the highlights of the key debate before the crucial primary. take a loob. >> grandiosity has never been a
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